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Journal of Neurosurgical Sciences 1999 June;43(2):169-73

language: English

Paraganglioma of the cauda equi­na. Case ­report with 33-month recur­rence free fol­low-up and ­review of the lit­er­a­ture

Liccardo G. 1, PAstore F. S. 1, Sherkat S. 1, Signoretti S. 1, Cavazzana A. 2, Fraioli B. 1

1 Institute of Neurosurgery, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy;
2 Institute of Pathology, University of Rome “Tor Vergata”, Rome, Italy


Paraganglioma of the cauda equi­na is an unusu­al tumor and do not have the secre­to­ry prop­er­ties of the same ­tumors aris­ing out­side the ner­vous ­system. In none of the few cases report­ed in lit­er­a­ture a pre­op­er­a­tive diag­no­sis was pos­sible, and the sur­gi­cal find­ings ­raised ques­tions in the dif­fe­ren­tial diag­no­sis with epen­dy­mo­mas. A rare case of par­a­gan­gli­o­ma of the cauda equi­na stud­ied both pre- and post­op­er­a­tive­ly by MRI, and treat­ed with sub­to­tal exci­sion com­bined with radio­ther­a­py is ­described. Results and recur­rence rates of the cases report­ed in lit­er­a­ture are ­reviewed. Though MRI imag­ing has prov­en to be more sen­si­tive than other radio­log­i­cal pro­ce­dures, we ­stress the dif­fi­cul­ties of pre­op­er­a­tive diag­no­sis of par­a­gan­gli­o­mas in this site. The cor­rect diag­no­sis of the par­a­gan­gli­o­ma of the cauda equi­na still ­relies on immu­no­chem­is­try and elec­tron micros­co­py. Total exci­sion is often very dif­fi­cult owing the ten­den­cy of these neo­plasms to infil­trate ­cauda’s roots. A 33-month recur­rence free fol­low-up of our ­patient con­firms that suc­cess­ful treat­ment is ­achieved by sub­to­tal resec­tion com­bined with radio­ther­a­py.

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